If we say the gospel won’t bring happiness, any perceptive listener should respond, “Then how is it good news?” We need to reverse the trend. Let’s redeem the word “happiness” in light of both Scripture and church history. Our message shouldn’t be “Don’t seek happiness,” but “You’ll find in Jesus the happiness you’ve always longed for.”
As a young pastor, I preached, as others still do, “God calls us to holiness, not happiness.” It all sounded so spiritual, and I could quote countless authors and preachers who agreed with me. I’m now convinced we were all dead wrong.
Recently I was a guest on Pastor Greg Laurie’s program, A New Beginning, talking about the subject of happiness. I have a great appreciation for Greg, a good brother and a friend with a real heart for Christ and for people.
Like many of you, I periodically experience times of discouragement. During these times, I fight it by engaging in self-talk similar to Psalm 116:7—“Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.”
In this three-minute video, I talk about the artificial distinction made by many Bible-believing Christians between happiness and joy. (I address this in my book Happiness, which will release this October.)
My friend Garry Friesen was a member of the Bible College faculty at Multnomah University for 37 years. He is now in his second “dream job”, teaching at Africa College of Theology (ACT) in Kigali, Rwanda.
Randy Alcorn, Julia (Stager) Mayo
| October 7, 2013
Before creatures ever came into the equation, what was God like? His basic persona and His character, that’s who He is.
Invest in Eternity
If you’ve found our resources to be helpful, we invite you to consider making a one-time or recurring donation. It’s the generous support of our ministry partners that enables us to continue our eternity-shaping work.
However, we’re here to serve everyone without cost, so please don’t feel obligated to give to us. Jesus said, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8). It’s our privilege and joy to share freely what God has so graciously given us.